PHOTOS: Thousands show for 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria

A runner shows off her Pikachu hat at the 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
The frontrunners at the 8km Turkey Trot at the 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Two runners chase their beer cans dangling in front of their heads while doing the 8k Turkey Trot. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
A group of kids wave goodbye before they run a 1km Fun Run at the 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Volunteers handing out medals at the 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Runners embrace at the finish line of the 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Glenn Irwin, right, ran the half-marathon with his brother, who is a stroke survivor, at the 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Chris Fraser, with CFB Esquimalt, celebrates at the finish line after running the 40th GoodLife Marathon wearing his navy dress uniform, including a respirator, air tank, and support harness. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Chris Fraser, middle, with his wife and son at the finish line of the 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Alycia Bradley, from Calgary, moments after completing her first half-marathon. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Two runners at the start of the 8km Turkey Trot at the 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Look at them go!

More than 8,500 people were at the 40th GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, early Sunday morning in downtown Victoria.

Many were running for the first time, a considerable portion from outside the capital city.

“It was my first 8k, let alone run, in Canada,” says Chiyo Kikutake, a Vancouver woman who recently moved from Japan. “I brought my Pikachu hat for good luck, but it made my head so hot!”

READ MORE: GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

In many instances, tears could be seen streaming down the faces of runners as they crossed the finish line. One woman started sobbing as she finished her half-marathon.

“I’ve wanted to run this for 10 years, but I got into nursing school and time just flew by,” says Alycia Bradley, from Calgary. “My cousin inspired me to sign up this year. I used to train people for the Sun Run for the longest time, but now it’s my time.”

The 40th annual event saw two new course records for the 8k, in both men’s and women’s. Justin Kent took first place for men’s with 23:15 and Sarah Inglis for women’s with 25:44.

In the full marathon (42.2km), Eric Finan nabbed the winning title for the men at 2:17:52 and Andrea Lee for women at 2:46:46.

In the half marathon, Will Norris took top spot for men’s at 1:06:20 and Cleo Boyd for women’s at 1:13:38.

ALSO READ: Victoria marathoner’s message one of hope

But the winners of the races weren’t the only ones with grit and determination. David Irwin, a stroke survivor, crossed the finish line arm-in-arm with his brother.

“I had a stroke the moment I finished my first full marathon eleven years ago,” says Irwin, a Victoria man. “I was in a wheelchair for years and couldn’t walk.”

Now, he’s completed three half-marathons since he started running again.

“This guy is my inspiration,” says Glenn Irwin, David’s brother. “This is my first time running a half-marathon and I can’t wait to do it again.”

As the race died down, Chris Fraser, a navy officer from CFB Esquimalt, came running around the final corner. He ran the full marathon with naval combat dress, including a respirator, air tanks, and support harness.

RELATED: CBF Esquimalt officer to run Victoria marathon wearing 30 pounds of navy gear

Not only did he raise money for the Esquimalt Family Resource Centre (MFRC), but he attempted to set a new Guinness World Record (Fastest Runner Wearing a Firefighter’s Uniform and Breathing Apparatus). He clocks in at 5:55:06 with the extra 30 pounds of gear.

“I couldn’t be happier to have finished this, but on the other side of my mind, I never want to do this again,” jokes Fraser. His navy uniform is soaked with sweat and part of his shirt is ripped from the breathing apparatus rubbing on his back.

“Once I hit halfway, I totally ran out of gas. The only thing that kept me going was knowing everyone that was supporting me and the fact I was doing this for the MFRC. It doesn’t matter whether I get the Guinness World Record, but it’d sure be nice.”

Now, he just has to wait until the Guinness officials respond to his submission.

“From our wheelchair athletes to our marathon winners, it’s been an amazing day,” says Jonathan Foweraker, president of the Victoria Marathon Society.

He says the society will consider making adjustments to the course, specifically around Oak Bay for next year.

“We’re looking forward to another 40 years. This run is about much more than the individuals, it’s about the community as a whole. It’s only going to get better from here.”

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Langford residents concerns rise over proposal for two 11-storey buildings

Group calls for more green space, independent traffic feasiblity study

Woman who talked to unconscious husband, a Victoria police officer, for 30 years focus of study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

Victoria’s Raging Grannies to demonstrate against public funding of for-profit senior homes

Group says COVID-19 has revealed ‘sad state of extended care’ in B.C.

Plans for pot shop in Sidney spark back to life

Changing provincial regulations could clear the way for Sidney’s first ever pot shop

VIDEO: Dashcam footage shows Victoria police-involved crash

Video shows VicPD officer strike another vehicle at intersection

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Most Read